Berberian Sound Studio M
Chopping up more cabbage than a hipster sauerkraut artisan, an English foley artist hired for a lurid Italian giallo film becomes unhinged in Peter Strickland’s highly unnerving 2012 feature that warns of the deceptive nature of cinematic sound.
With character actor Toby Jones given a rare lead role that allows his talents luxuriant room to breathe, we follow the meek yet talented Gilderoy, whose expertise is in nature documentaries, as he begins work on designing the soundscape for a film that already seems to be careening out of control. Ensconced in the eerie Berberian Sound Studio in Rome, Gilderoy smashes fruit and records the leading actresses’ screams to match the cuts of film he receives. But reality starts to merge with bloody fantasy and, trapped within the studio with no means of escape, Gilderoy’s mental state begins to disintegrate.
The film that saw critics hail Strickland as a natural heir to the likes of Lynch and Polanski, Berberian Sound Studio loudly announced the director’s unique aesthetic to wider audiences – a world of lush visuals, disquieting soundscapes and unrepentant cinephilia.
“Utterly distinctive and all but unclassifiable, a musique concrete nightmare, a psycho-metaphysical implosion of anxiety, with strange-tasting traces of black comedy and movie-buff riffs. It is seriously weird and seriously good.” – The Guardian
Berberian Sound Studio will screen with Peter Strickland’s short film Conduct Phase.